Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs is a delicious way to cook eggplant, and even eggplant avoiders will enjoy this recipe! And this tasty grilled eggplant is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Check out Eggplant Recipes for more recipes like this one.
Are you an eggplant lover or an eggplant avoider? It was back in 2007 that I celebrated The Summer of Eggplant, since that was the year I discovered grilled eggplant and this Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs was one of the earliest eggplant recipes I made where I absolutely loved eggplant. But this was such an old recipe with photos I knew would never entice any eggplant avoiders to try it, so recently I cooked this again when I had a chance to take better pictures! I’ve been a grilled eggplant lover for many years now, and this is my eggplant mantra: If you think you don’t like eggplant, give grilled eggplant a chance!
We absolutely loved the eggplant + Feta combination in this tasty version of grilled eggplant that also has a flavorful sauce and fresh herbs. The original recipe just used one globe eggplant, but when we updated the photos we couldn’t resist doubling it, and the leftovers were still tasty even after they’d been in the fridge. If you like Feta and fresh herbs, please try this tasty grilled eggplant dish; I bet you’ll like it!
Feel free to cut the amounts in half if this is more grilled eggplant than will get eaten at your house! And you could definitely cook this delicious eggplant on a stove-top grilling pan or inside a George Foreman Grill if it’s not grilling weather or you don’t have an outside grill!
Cut the ends off the eggplant and cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Grilled eggplant doesn’t really have to be salted, so feel free to skip that step if you’d like. But we salted it and let it sit about 20 minutes on the first side, then another 20 minutes on the second side. (When you’ve turned the eggplant over and salted it the second time, start to preheat the grill, or if you’re not salting start preheating grill when you start the recipe.)
Wipe off the excess salt with paper towels; that removes some of the salt too. While the eggplant sits chop up the mint and cilantro (or fresh herb combination of your choice). Then buzz together minced garlic, salt, fresh lemon juice, and minced red onion in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes; then stir in ground cumin, Aleppo Pepper (or Cayenne), Spike Seasoning (optional), and whisk in olive oil to make the vinaigrette. Crumble the desired amount of Feta cheese (and a little more Feta definitely won’t hurt!) Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides and preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
If you want those nice criss-cross grill marks, grill the eggplant about 3-4 minutes on the first side and then lift the edge to see if the grill marks are dark enough. When they are, rotate each piece of eggplant and cook about 3-4 minutes more. Turn eggplant over and cook 3-4 minutes more on the second side, or until it’s done to your liking. Arrange eggplant on a tray (or just use a baking sheet like we did), drizzle with garlic-cumin vinaigrette, and sprinkle with crumbled feta and herbs.
Serve right away and wait for compliments! Leftover eggplant can be refrigerated overnight and reheated. The reheating will melt the cheese and wilt the herbs a bit, which I didn’t really mind, but refrigerate the eggplant, herbs, and sauce separately if you know there will be leftovers.
Make it a Meal:
This grilled eggplant would be great for a low-carb meatless dish, but if you wanted to serve it as a side dish it would taste great with Grilled Fusion Chicken or Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Rosemary, and Thyme for a low-carb meal.
More Delicious Recipes for Eggplant:
Julie Child’s Eggplant Pizzas ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tomato, Eggplant, Zucchini Bake ~ Well Plated
Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt and Za’atar ~ Foolproof Living
Roasted Eggplant with Mediterranean Salsa ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Baby Eggplant with Caponata Sauce ~ Steamy Kitchen
Garlic-Lover’s Vegetable Stir Fry ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spicy Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes ~ BellyFull
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs is a delicious way to cook eggplant that even eggplant avoiders will enjoy!
- 2 large eggplants, cut in uniform slices 3/4 inch thick
- about 1-2 tsp. salt, for salting eggplant (Grilled Eggplant doesn’t have to be salted if you want to skip that step. Most of the salt is wiped off, so don’t worry about it being too salty.)
- about 2 T olive oil, for brushing on eggplant
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (Or use other fresh herb of your choice.)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Or use other fresh herb of your choice. You could use all mint or all cilantro if that’s what you have. I also think this would taste great with a mixture of basil and oregano.)
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta (or more)
- 1 tsp. garlic puree or finely minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 T shallots or red onion, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or a little more if you really like cumin)
- generous pinch Aleppo Pepper (or use cayenne pepper)
- 1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but recommended; use any all-purpose seasoning if you don’t have Spike)
- 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
- Cut both ends off the eggplants and cut into slices 3/4 inches thick.
- If you’re salting the eggplant, lay it out on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let the eggplant sit about 20 minutes, or until you see beads of water released.
- Then turn over and sprinkle with salt and let sit about 20 minutes more on the second side. When you’ve turned the eggplant over and salted it the second time, start to preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.)
- While eggplant sits, put garlic, salt, lemon juice, and shallots or red onion into food processor fitted with steel blade, pulse until all ingredients are well combined, then let sit for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, put mixture in small bowl, stir in ground cumin, Aleppo or Cayenne pepper, and Spike Seasoning if using, then whisk in olive oil.
- Wash fresh herbs in a salad spinner if needed and finely chop with a large knife. Crumble Feta into a small bowl.
- After eggplant has sat for the second 20 minutes, wipe the water (and salt) away from the eggplant with dry paper towel and put it on a baking sheet. Brush eggplant with olive oil on both sides.
- Lay eggplant slices on the grill. If you want criss-cross grill marks, grill the eggplant about 3-4 minutes on the first side, then lift up the edge to see if the grill marks are dark enough. When you see good grill marks, rotate each piece of eggplant and cook about 3-4 minutes more.
- Turn eggplant over and cook 3-4 minutes more on the second side, or until it’s done to your liking.
- Arrange eggplant on a serving tray or baking sheet, drizzle with garlic-cumin vinaigrette, and sprinkle with crumbled feta and herbs.
This recipe was adapted from the September issue of Fine Cooking magazine.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Grilled eggplant with Garlic Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta, and Herbs would be a perfect main dish or side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-carb eating plan, even Keto.
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